The Swingles  ft. John Taylor & Ward Swingle – ‘La Cathedrale Engloutie’ (Single)

The Swingles consists of seven London- based singers; Joanna Goldsmith-Eteson, Sara Brimer, Clare Wheeler, Oliver Griffiths, Christopher Jay, Kevin Fox and Edward Randell. The story of The Swingles starts in 1963 when American-born Ward Swingle first assembled a group of Parisian session singers to sing Bach’s keyboard music. The resulting album, “Jazz Sebastian Bach,”  launched the Swingle Singers to fame.

They have released fifty records, had music featured on various film and TV soundtracks including Glee, Sex In The City and the popular novel -based film series The Hunger Games and performed alongside musicians such as Jamie Cullum, Modern Jazz Quartet and Labrinth. Now they are releasing a new album entitled ‘Deep End’ which is produced by Jon Cotton (Sweet Billy Pilgrim, Scott Matthews, Jo Hamilton). However, this is a bittersweet moment for the group as in January 2015  their founder Ward Swingle passed away and their new release has now become not only a look to the future but also something to keep his legacy alive.

Their new single La Cathedrale Engloutie’, is a vocal take on a classic by Claude Debussy and it is an extremely poignant performance. The intro has the beautiful piano from the late jazz pianist John Taylor which suits the haunting a cappella group harmonies. In addition, they have included excerpts from Ward Swingle’s last interview and as you hear him explain about the formation of The Swingle Singers the volume of the vocals increases and actually sounds quite happy.

It is a peaceful song that is respectful to their late founder and friend and they have a rich and textured tones in their voices throughout. They have really thought about the song and I really appreciate the fact that they haven’t done a note-for-note cover but instead opted for a fresh style that showcases what they do best and that should be commended. If you enjoy jazz music or a cappella groups such as The Overtones, Naturally 7, The Magnets etc then give The Swingles a listen.

Glenn Sargeant

The Swingles new single ‘La Cathedrale Engloutie’ Ft. John Taylor & Ward Swingle is out now and taken from their new album ‘Deep End’ which is released on Friday 18th September 2015. To coincide with its release and to celebrate the life of founder Ward Swingle, The Swingles will be performing a very special one-off concert called ‘ForWard’  charity performance will all of the proceeds going to Unicef on Saturday 19th September 2015 at The Mermaid Theatre in London. For tickets and more information visit:

(Thanks to Lewis Fromberg at Deacon Communications for help with this review. Photo credit for both the feature image and the image in the article go to  Nedim Nazerali)